Damp rooms in Portugal
If you have bought or are about to buy a home in Portugal you will have no doubt noticed a stale, damp smell in the rooms. You may take this as just a situation that a little ventilation will sort out but the underlying cause of this smell is bacteria which has an impact on the health of the occupants (go to this in depth report on the health effects from damp rooms in Portugal.
You may see black mould spores which looks like someone has flicked black ink on the wall especially where the walls meet the ceiling. Then there is the flaking paint and in some cases wall and floor tiles will have “blown” come off the wall and floor. The cause of all these woes is of course damp.
Asthma sufferers will have problems due to condensation, moisture, humidity, and water intrusion, which all contribute to indoor moisture. Mold infestation is a major trigger for asthma. Other health concerns of mould are infections, allergenic or immunological illness, and nonallergic illness.
If you have the telltale signs of damp in your house this is an indication that the house has a high level of interior humidity which in turn can help promote dry rot in timber like floors and support joists.
Many houses are built of poor quality materials such as sun dried mud bricks, porous stone or just stones taken from fields and held together with mud. You wont see this as you walk around a house because the walls are usually rendered over.
Humidity occurs in indoor environments due to building related causes porous walls, rising damp, penetrating damp and leaks in the building structure then of course human occupancy adds a significant amount of humidity to the indoor environment.
If the property has the traditional “adega” or animal shelters, workshops or garaging on the ground floor. They were never meant to be living area so no care would have been taken with regard to humidity, light, ventilation or drainage.
If you intend to convert these spaces in to guest rooms or studios you have to start from the basis that you want to 1, make them dry, 2, let more light in, 3, make them accessible perhaps by installing stairs. 4, you may also want a little more headroom.
The cost of this work is not prohibitive but it is essential that it is carried out well.
Curing damp should always be considered as part of the refurbishment process. Enlarging a home by utilizing existing space is considered one of the best ways of adding value to a home. Here’s what the experts say “Basement. “If it’s dry, it’s a plus,” says Kenneth Austin, co-author of “The Home Buyer’s Inspection Guide.” “But it’s a negative if it has water problems.” Learn more at http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/real-estate/buyerguide2004/increase-resale1.asp